82 pages 2 hours read

Kristin Levine

The Lions Of Little Rock

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 2012

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.


The Lions of Little Rock

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade historical
  • Originally Published: 2012
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 630L; grades 5-8
  • Structure/Length: 57 chapters; approx. 306 pages; approx. 8 hours, 22 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Twelve-year-old Marlee struggles with her first year of middle school in 1948 Little Rock, Arkansas until she meets new friend Liz, whose boldness inspires Marlee. When Liz leaves school suddenly, Marlee hears others speculating about Liz’s race; she must find the courage to stand up for true friendship amidst tense battles over integrating schools.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Racism and prejudice; intolerance; racial slurs; mentions of violence, lynching, and explosives

Kristin Levine, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1974; attended Swarthmore College and American University; currently lives in Virginia; writes works for middle graders and teens inspired by her background and by events in the lives of her family members
  • Other Works: The Paper Cowboy (2014); The Jigsaw Jungle (2018); The Thing I’m Most Afraid Of (2021)
  • Awards: Starred reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Publishers Weekly; 25 awards at the state level

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Entrenched Racism
  • Learning to Speak Out
  • Transformative Relationships

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of the cultural and historical contexts regarding racism and segregation that incite Marlee’s conflict.